The Miami Herald from Miami, Florida on December 29, 1970 · 108
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The Miami Herald from Miami, Florida · 108

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Miami, Florida
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Tuesday, December 29, 1970
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108
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Husker Defense Tough Just Ask Murtaugh By GARY LONG Herald Spurts Wriar Defense a Nebraska trademark of the past war the fear of the future when the Cornhuskers began their 1970 football campaign Eight of the 11 starters were either sophomores or inexperienced second-year players "In spring ball it looked bad" admitted linebacker Jerry Murtaugh Monday "And at the beginning of the season everybody was sav ing how rotten our defense would be" But Murtaugh took the initial assessment as a personal affront and rallied Nebraska's "Black Shirts" As a result Louisiana State won't be the only team bringing defensive pride into Friday night's Orange Bowl classic As Murtaugh pointed out "We've got to be pretty effective We're undefeated (10-0-1) and we've allowed just over 16 points a game That's not too bad" THE TALENTED All-American didn't even bother to add that many of the opponents' points were scored against Cornhusker reserves after Nebraska's potent offense had rolled up an insurmountable cushion Murtaugh has been the defense's ringleader "I guess Jerry has about every school record for tackles assists and such" linebacker coach John Melton said shortly after the team's morning workout at Miami- Dade Junior College North "He just wants to get to the ball" Melton added in simple explanation of Mur-taugh's prowess "That's about nine-tenths of it He seems to have a sense of where it will be And he's real aggressive real tough" That toughness resulted in the defensive standout being selected the rugged Big Eight Conference's Player of the Year by one wire service "I was shocked" the grin ning Murtaugh said "getting it over Kansas State quarterback) Lynn Dickey like that" BUT STATISTICS provide an ample case in his behalf He made 71 unassisted tackles assisted on 61 others and intercepted three passes "Jerry had 15 individual tackles and 10 assists against Southern Cal alone" Melton added of the 21-21 tie that blemished an otherwise perfect record "He's started -Associated Press Wirephoto Across From Stadium Viking Fans Watch Game in Warm Motel Room Empty Seats May Force NFL To Stop Strong TV Signals MINNEAPOLIS-ST PAUL — (AP) — The chief aide to Commissioner Pete Rozelle said Monday the National Football League might be forced to take steps to protect its television blackout policy in light of empty seats at playoff games here and in Baltimore Sighting signal pickups that enabled Sunday's San Francisco-Minnesota game to be telecast as far inside the 75-mile blackout area as a row of motels directly across the highway from the game Jim Kensil told The Associated Press: "In an area like this sub ject to extreme weather conditions it becomes difficult to sell tickets when the game is available on television within walking distance of the stadium We have to keep faith with the fans who come out week after week in all kinds of weather "We are going to take a hard look at our blackout patterns and under such circumstances as existed for the game here we may not permit as much signal penetration as in the past" KENSIL'S estimate that circumventing the blackout area by pickups of penetrat ing signals can lead to problems seems to have been underscored by developments at the four playoff sites this past weekend At Oakland and Dallas where the weather was moderate there were sellout crowds At Baltimore where it snowed the night before the game some 9000 seats were empty after 51 consecutive sellouts At Minneapol-ist-St Paul where the thermometer dipped to nine degrees there were 1850 unsold seats after season-long sellout crowds The Minnesota game could be seen locally on television at various sites with antennae strong enough to pick up a signal from a station in Mason City Iowa whose signal penetrates the 75-mile blackout radius "has been recognized by a federal statute and subsequently upheld several times in federal court" He indicated the obvious solution was curtailing signal penetration Kensil explained a common misunderstanding existed that led people to believe the NFL could only blackout stations within the 75-mile area while in actuality the NFL is permitted to black out any station whose signal significantly penetrates the radius THE NFL the object of several legal challenges to its blackout policies has maintained a lenient attitude in the past toward signal penetration but Kensi! said the NFL "might now have to take full advantage of our legal privilege in restricting signal penetration" The problem of signal penetration enabling telecasting of Viking home games locally raised its head during the last two regular season home games when the cold weather blanketed this northernmost outpost in pro football By VP1 in AFC Blanda Named Plaver of Year NEW YORK — (UPI) — George Blanda who made the "miracle finish" a commonplace occurrence for the Oakland Raiders and helped propel them into a possible Super Bowl berth Monday was named United Press International's American Football Con ference Plaver of the Year Baltimore 49ers Rate Slim Picks By Herald Wire Services The San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Colts are slight betting favorites for Sunday's National Football League conference championship games according to Las Vegas oddsmaker Jimmy ("The Greek") Snyder San Francisco is a four-point choice over the visiting Dallas Cowboys in the National Conference title game The Colts are a one point over the Oakland Raiders in the American Conference final at Baltimore Snyder said Monday Snyder has resolved not to make odds on any amateur sports next year "I hate making numbers on amateur sports" said the premier Las Vegas oddsmaker "1 may be all alone but I'm going to refuse to do it next year because I'm dead set against it" The silver-haired Blanda a 43-year-old veteran of 22 years of pro football lifted the Raiders from behind to win or tie on five separate occasions He easily won in balloting by 32 sports writers representing the 13 AFC cities Blanda collected 23 votes to walk off with the honor Teammate Daryle Lamonica and Baltimore's John Unitas received two votes each while Marlin Briscoe of Buffalo Jan Stenerud of Kansas City John Elliott of New York and Jess Phillips of Cincinnati each received one vote It was the second Player of the Year award for the veteran Blanda who was playing professionally when some teammates were born He also won the honor in 1961 as a member of the Houston Oilers BLANDA'S feats from Oct 25 through Nov 22 bordered on the miraculous On Oct 25 subbing for the injured Lamonica Blanda threw three touchdown passes and kicked a field goal as Oakland rallied to beat Pittsburgh 31-14 A week later on Nov ) Blanda s 48-yard field goal with three seconds left gave the Raiders a 17-17 tie with Kansas City national TeleDholo —United Press Inter Dejected Simla Still Finds Time to Congratulate Foe walks off field with Oakland quarterback Daryle Lamonica Simla Calls It Tossup OAKLAND Calif — (L'PI) — Don Shula who should know best of all sees little difference between the Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Colts for their AFC title game Sunday "Both are solid ball clubs have a nucleus of veterans and can do the little things a team needs to do to win" Shula said after watching his Miami Dolphins drop a 21-14 decision to the Raiders in the first round AFC playoffs Shula left a job as head coach at Baltimore earlier this year to take over the Dolphins so he knows as much about the Colts as anyone with the exception of the current Baltimore coaching staff "THE RAIDERS are R very balanced team" Shula said "I didn't think much of the Baltimore running game until this week when they seemed to put it together (against the Cincinnati Bengals) That should make next week's game a very even match" The Raiders who have a way of winning the big games made a couple of mistakes against Miami but a key interception by Willie Brown ano a Daryle Lamoni-ca-Rod Sherman 82-yard "bomb" made up for the mis-cues and paved the way to victory There seemed to be some disagreement between Shula and Brown as to what happened on Willie's interception which he picked off at midfield and ran in for the touchdown that gave the Raiders the lead for the first time at 14-7 late in the thrd quarter Shula said Bob Griese the Miami quarterback lost his grip on a wet bail and under-threw while trying to connect with Paul Warfield Brown said it was a case of Griese not guessing right "Griese was trying to throw the ball through the Oakland zone" said Shula "but the ball slipped in his hand and he was short That's all there was to it" "We were in a zone defense" said Brown a former ll-leaguc rornerback who missed five games this season because of a shoulder separation "but apparently Griese thought we were in a man-to-man defense which we were most of the game I just dropped nack and read him right and when I saw the ball come out I intercepted it" every game for three years but 1 think that was his best" Muriaigh concurs But he's quick to add "I could have had so many more But you can't get a good shot at that Clarence Davis I must have missed him eight times I think he's the best back in the nation "Kansas' (John) Riggins is tough But he comes straight at you and you can usually get your shot Not Davis" Murtaugh attributes much of his success to being "in the right place at the right time" and hopes that same theme will result in a solid shot at a pro career At 6 feet 3 inches and 212 pounds he belies the old "ponderous pachyderms of the Plains" tag that used to be applied to Nebraska defenders AND HE admits "Straight ahead if you timed me I'm not very fast" But without a trace of empty boasttulness he adds "I've run down some ball players though Chasing somebody I usually catch 'em And laterally I can move with anyoody" Last year Nebraska traveled to the Sun Bowl to smash Georgia 45-6 and Murtaugh was voted the game's best lineman He hopes he and the Cornhuskers live up to that precedent against LSU 2 Quarterbacks Put Dual Power In LSU Attack By BOB ELLIOTT Herald Columnist In most of his first eight years as head football coach at Louisiana State Charlie McClendon was apt to shudder at the mention of the word quarterback At various times he lost such star signal-callers as Nelson Stokley Pat Screen and Freddy Haynes — among others Then two weeks before the opening game this past season the worst blow struck Butch Duhe destined to share the 1970 quarterback job died suddenly It's still hard for McClendon to talk about Duhe but as he prepares his Tigers for their Orange Bowl date with Nebraska mention the word quarterback and he positively bubbles over with enthusiasm The reasons are Buddy Lee a senior and Bert Jones a sophomore Together they give LSU as potent a quar-terbacking pair as college football knows Says McClendon "I'm far better situated at quarterback than at any time in my coaching career I can't say enough about either of them They're both big and strong good passers and the team has extreme confidence in each one It's a beautiful picture" WHEN YOU'VE GOT as talented a twosome as Lee and Jones what do you do with them? McClendon found this no problem — he plays both Lee usually starts (and will against Nebraska) but after two or three series in comes Jones And they'll keep alternating most of the game "We go with the hot hand" says Coach Mac Each played considerably in every one of LSU's 11 games last fall Nebraska can expect to see both the night of Jan l Each weighs 205 pounds Lee stands 6 feet 4 inches and Jones an inch less Each had more than 50 per cent completions in 1970 with Jones hitting on 52 of 100 Lee 73 of 138 I remarked that they were the biggest men in the LSU backfield Lee nodded agreement but Jones as good a talker as he is a passer interjected: "Hey that's not so You're forgetting about that 275-pound Notre Dame tackle He was in our backfield more than any of our guys" Notre Dame you'll recall handed LSU one of its two defeats 3-0 The other loss came at the hands of Texas A & M in the season opener when the Tigers were still badly shaken by the death of Duhe LEE AND JONES say they don't object to the alternating system but each was anything but in favor of the bench calling most of the plays particularly in the early part of the season "However" they remarked almost in unison "here we are in a bowl with a 9-2 record so I guess it's not bad" "I've gotten pretty used to it now" said Lee "I have to admit it takes an awfully lot of pressure off" Jones a son of Dub Jones who started his pro career with the Miami Seahawks and then became a great star with the Cleveland Browns said he thought "there are some good and bad points about the bench doing the play-calling" "We often see something in the other team's defense but can't do anything about it" he said Asked if he couldn't call an audible he sort of grinned and replied "yeah 1 guess we can but we sure better be right " BOTH LSU QUARTERBACKS have a lot of tCp8Ct for Nebraska "But'' said Lee "quite a Sb iHiami Herald Tuesday Dec 29 1970 few teams moved the ball against them and I'm pretty sure we also will Our defense is in for a real tough night however I sort of think their offense is like our defense — tough tough tough" Neither Lee nor Jones does much running They're pocket and play action quarterbacks In fact for the entire season both wound up with minus rushing yardage "Running's just not our cup of tea" they said Both incidentally like the synthetic turf on which the OB game will be played "Bert and I had one of our best games when we beat Alabama in Birmingham" Lee said That was the only game the Tigers played on the "rug" although they have a Tartan surface on which to practice at Baton Rouge LEE AND JONES as well as the rest of the Tigers have spent a lot of time looking at films of the tie game between Nebraska and Southern California a deadlock that spoiled a perfect year for the Cornhuskers "Nebraska really blitzed against the Trojans and I sort of suspect we can expect the same thing" Lee said "They can't be any rougher than those Notre Dame rushers" retorted Jones "Man those guys were big and they came after you" "Generally speaking however" added Lee "I think we've picked up the blitz pretty well all season long" MCLENDON POSITIVELY DROOLS when he thinks of having Jones for two more years It's generally conceded that Jones is the best-looking prospect to hit the LSU campus since Y A Tittle "He's got a great arm" said McClendon "Against Mississippi State he threw a perfect pass 60 yards in the air and gave us an easy touchdown" Lee as steady as they come is hoping for a pro career "I've had feelers from several teams but I don't figure to go high in the draft I'd sure like to give it a try however" he said To Recrnit Top Blacks Rattlers Seek Money Help TALLAHASSEE — (AP) — Jolted by two crushing defeats an embarrassed Florida A & M University which compiled a formidable record of 203-36-4 in 25 years is struggling to move back to the top Persian War Wins Irish Sweepstakes FAIRYHOUSE Ireland — (AP) — Persian War the 5-4 favorite easily won the second running of the Irish Sweepstakes hurdle Monday by eight lengths over Lock-yersleigh Ridden by John Uttley the 7-y ear -oid gelding won $26356 for owner A J Pitt of England with lucky ticket holders collecting $120000 Tickets on the Sweeps were sold in more than 100 countries Inishman finished another six lengths back while L'es-cargot second choice at 4-1 finished fourth for owner Raymond Guest former US ambassador to Ireland L'es-cargot the only American hope faded over the last three hurdles after running second Lockyerskigh went off at 28-1 and Inishman 7-1 in the two-mile race Only 11 horses started when Avondhu the second favorite was withdrawn because snow prevented his horse truck from leaving for the course 15 miles from Dublin The turf track was pelted by rain and hail before the race Persian War moved to the front six furlongs from the end and slowly pulled away § First it was the 49-7 loss to the University of Tampa Then followed a 20-6 defeat at the hands of Jack- sonville State in the tradi- tion-steeped Orange Blossom classic in Miami's Orange Bowl "The Jacksonville State game was the last straw" said a former A&M football great Nathaniel (Traz) Powell who has been appointed to spearhead a drive to get A&M back on its feet Both losses came before big crowds and were dealt by predominantly white schools A&M is predominantly black and has a proud — and sen-sitive — football history The Orange Blossom loss gave A&M a 5-5 record one of its worst years RATTLER followers accustomed to victories under former Coach Jake Gaithcr 1 are aroused ni Powell's job is to persuade A&M alumni to contribute money so recruiters can go to black athletes and offer the same inducements that predominantly white universities can offer "We're concerned and know that the alumni need capital to operate on be- U cause all the black blue-chip boys are leaving the state of Florida We're not able to compete because of material things other schools can offer" Powell said He said A&M hopes to raise enough money to offer a "bluechipper" the same in- :-ducements allowed under the ' NCAA regulations that white schools offer Powell coached for 17 years at Carver High in Miami and his team won six ""B black high school titles

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